House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling said Tuesday that he is confident the Export-Import Bank will expire when its charter runs out on June 30.
Hensarling is known as one of Ex-Im’s fiercest opponents, having previously accused the bank of “crony capitalism.” He also vowed at one point to use his committee chairmanship to block any bill to re-authorize Ex-Im the last time its charter was set to expire, in September. (RELATED: Conservatives Split on Export-Import Bank)
At the last minute, however, a short-term extension of the bank’s charter was attached to a continuing resolution (CR) funding the federal government, which also included authorization to train and arm Syrian rebels combating ISIS. (RELATED: House Includes Short-Term Ex-Im Extension in Government Funding Bill)
On Tuesday, two members of the Financial Services Committee—ranking Democrat Maxine Waters and Republican vice-chairman Gary Miller, both of California—introduced a bill to re-authorize Ex-Im for five years, though it would require Hensarling’s approval to reach the floor, the Washington Examiner reports.
The Waters-Miller bill will also “require the bank to hold more reserves against losses that could hit taxpayers, establish a permanent chief risk officer, and improve safeguards against fraud and corruption, among other provisions” designed to assuage popular concerns about the bank. (RELATED: Democrats Rally Support for Export-Import Bank)
The Examiner quoted Waters as saying the bill represents a “balanced compromise” that would allow Ex-Im to continue its work of supporting U.S. exports while addressing many of the criticisms that have been leveled at it.
According to The Hill, “Sens. Joe Manchin and Mark Kirk also unveiled Ex-Im legislation in the upper chamber” on Tuesday.
In a statement responding to the introduction of the two bills, Hensarling indicated that neither is likely to come to a vote, saying, “With no further action or consideration expected during this Congress, I look forward to the Bank’s expiration.”
In the absence of Ex-Im export subsidies, Hensarling said he would “[work] with members to make our exporters more competitive by advancing pro-growth tax, energy, regulatory, and liability policies.”
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